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paroxysm
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English Dictionary: paroxysm by the DICT Development Group
2 results for paroxysm
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
paroxysm
n
  1. a sudden uncontrollable attack; "a paroxysm of giggling"; "a fit of coughing"; "convulsions of laughter"
    Synonym(s): paroxysm, fit, convulsion
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Paroxysm \Par"ox*ysm\, n. [F. paroxysme, Gr. [?], fr. [?] to
      sharpen, irritate; [?] beside, beyond + [?] to sharpen, from
      [?] sharp.]
      1. (Med.) The fit, attack, or exacerbation, of a disease that
            occurs at intervals, or has decided remissions or
            intermissions. --Arbuthnot.
  
      2. Any sudden and violent emotion; spasmodic passion or
            action; a convulsion; a fit.
  
                     The returning paroxysms of diffidence and despair.
                                                                              --South.
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